What is Getting Small Church Pastors Down?

Small Church Pastors have quit because of frustration; resigned because of weariness, or burned out because of “doing it all,” and these are the top four reasons why.


INSUFFICIENCY Many small church pastors feel they can’t cope with the increasing demands or work, visitation, preaching, studying, family events and planning. Frustration and anger grows when our calendar is full, our load is heavier and our body is tired. Lack of exercise, eating right, prayer, a sabbatical and family time has eaten the small church pastor’s health, money, time and energy.

The power of sufficiency isn’t found in doing it all but is found in doing the right thing first. Not just a priority list but a “what gives me the best energy?” Or, what gives my time the best return? Putting God first and family second may not be just a traditional priority list – it still works today. Spend time alone with God each morning, praying and reading the Word of God. The time spent with God will be inviting and refreshing.


LOW FINANCES It is disastrous when a small church pastor lives out of the offering plate and there is a hole in the bottom of the plate. Small church pastors rarely get paid sufficiently for the demands and time involved with the church. When my wife and I began in the ministry we made $350 a week with an infant, barely enough but yet managed to put back a small amount each week, planning for vacation or a weekend trip to see my wife’s family. It wasn’t much but it was enough.

God will make up the difference. Not trying to be simplistic but really, faithfulness brings God’s attention and God will make up the difference.


COMPARISON There is nothing that will kill the calling and disrupt your ministry joy like comparing your church to those around you. After subscribing to a church magazine for months I finally cancelled my FREE subscription. That’s right, the magazine was free but it was killing my calling to my church. Reading about a mega church or how one church reached a 100 people in one Saturday began to depress me.

Renew your calling to your location. God hasn’t asked you to be like everybody else or even, to pastors another church, He has called you and your fulfillment is found in best serving where you are not trying to be like the church down the road.


DEPRESSION Depression visits most pastors every Monday morning. Who quit? Where was the Smith family? Why did they say what they say?  How come the offering was so low? Where was everybody at? You know the drill. If the small church pastor gauges his success by people sitting in the seats and the money in the pan he will experience discouragement and depression.

Depression is a trick of the enemy to distract you from God’s original purpose. Find God, find His purpose through you and the joy will flow. Find a friend, take the time to read a book or you and your wife take a walk. Get out of the house and get out of your office at least once or twice a week. Your attendance was down and your offering was down – FIGHT – don’t let your spirits go down too.


God has NOT forgotten you. Remember Jesus, most of His three years of ministry, only had twelve who followed Him. It is not the number – it is the calling. God has called you to preach the Word – do it with all your heart.


Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission of the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or professional advice.






Nothing is more depressing than having a vision or dream and the ending result is one of financial loss, dignity despaired and failure. Been there–done that and got the T-shirt. To lose ground and find yourself a million miles behind is not the greatest line for a bestseller but sometimes we lose and sometime we gain.

Risk is involved in every dream and causes us to shrink back and not reach for the vision we have in our heart. Passion, dreams and visions come short of reaching the high point of the mountain–there must be a secret formula or method. We read books, follow blogs, create goals and scan the internet for the key to riches, fame and success only to meet with failure and desperation.

What would happen if we didn’t change the process but absolutely changed the foundation of our vision? Want to grow a church? Want to start a ministry? Want to write a book? Want to begin a nonprofit organization? Whatever the vision is we must begin with the foundation if we will get the process to have the preferred outcome.

When you build a house, you must never ignore how important the foundation is to the safety and proper construction of the house. You can pick out the most amazing lighting; choose beautiful cabinets and have a stunning floor plan but without the correct and proper foundation the house is a shambles and decreases in value.

We all agree the greater the vision the greater the influence–the power of persuasion increases with an exponential vision. Let’s take a look at Habakkuk 2:1-4 on establishing a vision.

Habakkuk 2:1-3 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will come; it will not tarry. 



Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower…

Work begins now. A visionary is established under accountability. A man or woman with vision will work hard. They aren’t the people who are looking for something else to do so they may get out of the trap they feel they are in. Just because a man or woman doesn’t want to work where they are now isn’t reason enough to quit and pursue their far flung ideas. These are tough words but we must stick with what we are doing if we are to see the vision become clearer into focus.




You may be in a struggle right now. You may not like your home, your church or your job but stay with it. God has placed you in the fertile soul of discomfort not to move you but to speak to you. The only way some people listen to God is when they are uncomfortable.



Habakkuk 2:1 …and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

Visions are born in the moments of prayer. Spending time in the presence of God will settle your unsettledness. God will speak in the midnight when you thought it was all over.  Being uncomfortable is a passing feeling but being in the presence of God comes a developed peace. God given visions are worlds apart from a self-given vision. God knows me better than I know myself and God gives greater visions I couldn’t accomplish on my own.

While starting a youth camp in Texas the need was great – $1000 was in the bank account and over $20,000 would be needed within five days. Not Five months but five days. The vison was God given, the peace was heaven sent and on Friday more than enough funds were collected to pay the debt and that happened for over 23 years. Having God speak assures us of the outcome.


Birthed in Prayer

Proceeded by Peace

Financed by Faith

Verified by His Word



Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Let’s cut to the chase – the clearer the vision is written the clearer the outcome will be.  Write the vision clearly, spell it out specifically and put it on the calendar.



Pull out a piece of paper and begin be creating a list of definite questions, purposeful direction and daily interaction. Simplicity is my code word – the flow of words and idea works best in the arena of simplicity; personally I use these five questions:

WHO is involved?  Who might help and who may be a contact person?

WHAT will it cost? What does it involve? What amount of time will I personally devote to it each day? What quote or scripture drives me each day? What devotional am I reading right now?

WHEN will I schedule it? When will it appear on my calendar and my daily worksheet? When is the finish date? (The finish date is extremely important even if you have to guess the approximate time of completion. If there is not a due date then the vision will drag on without accomplishment).

WHERE will I work on it? (Having a go to place is absolutely a must). Where might I find support? Where may I go for answers? Where do I go to keep the dream fresh on my mind? Where will I post a picture or visual stimulator to keep the dream alive?

WHY is this important to me? “Why” is the driving force of your vision. Take some time and seriously and quietly pursue the answer – why do I want to accomplish this vision? Of all the questions to answer this is ultimately the make or break of your vision. If vision casting the “why” must be dramatically, indefinitely and consistently repeated to those following.

After you have written the vision down “make it plain upon the tables.” Chart it or picture it and place it in a prominent location where the “visual vision” is seen often.  There will be plenty of excuses and many good reasons why you can’t go on but a “visual vision” creates excitement, brings determination and draws out the best in you; … that he may run that readeth it.



 When Habakkuk received the Word from God to “make it plain upon the tables” we could say, “engrave it in stone.” A permanent fixture, not to be easily removed, promoted the vision every day when Habakkuk passed by the “engraved vision.” When the vision becomes your vision it will be as concrete as the “visual vision.” A “Visual Vision” will be the motivating force giving you energy and vitality “…that he may run that readeth it.” Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, writes, “Our reach must exceed our grasp.” Nothing can replace a visual reminder to spur us on to action.



Waiting and watching can be agonizing. Waiting for the phone to ring with a book proposal being approved. Patiently diving into writing page after page. Weeks and months seem to drag by as people in the congregation slowly begin to accept and implement the vision. God knows that patience is need as God speaks to Habakkuk in chapter two and verse 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Planting flowers in late winter or early spring, praying the late frost away, preparing the soil, and watering on dry days seem to be mundane and a deterrent to progress but let the rain do its thing, let the sun do its thing, let the warmer spring days do its thing and the flowers will bloom.




There may be days of failure but press on, nights of fear and anxiety but press on anyway. There will be days you want to quit but press on. There will be days you will think, “What difference will it make,” but press on. Let the night turn to day, watch the flowers bloom through the process of rain, sun and soil, watch the project rise and give it to mature.

There is a time that is appointed for the vision to become reality. Many have turned away right at the moment of surprise. Failing to see intentionality blend with time for an overwhelming response to your efforts combined with God’s calendar, “for an appointed time.” It is coming. It will show up. It will happen.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling.

Four Things A Husband Needs to Know About His Wife

Thank you for making this post the most read and most commented since I have began blogging. What do you think?


11lAfter nearly 36 years of studying my wife I can say with a hearty proclamation, “There is yet so much to learn.” My wife, along with other women in the world, is intriguingly and meticulously created with unique features defining her as woman. No wonder Adam, when wakened from a deep sleep, cried out, “WHOA! MAN!” – Thus, woman.
There is so much more to learn yet there are a few explicit details that emerge fitting the generalities of women. This isn’t a blueprint – it is merely one man’s observation of God’s female creation. Though this is written for men’s information; I know there are women reading this who will print it, post it and may actually hang it on the mirror for their husband to read, and read and re-read.

She is Unique – She Needs Your Love

Perhaps the Bible explains this the best way. She is…

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Use What You Have

freeLet’s just face it – we don’t start out with much. And most of what we do is relatively small compared to what we would really like to do. We have big plans with little resources. We have big dreams with little results. we take baby steps instead of giant steps.

Most of the time when we decide towards a faith venture or some exploit we decide to begin calculations of what we don’t have. We add up our debt, our depreciation and our decrease. We subtract from hope, faith and patience. We substitute fear, bad dreams and the sweats. But what if we used what we have.

The simple instead of the complex, the small instead of the large or the minute compared to the exhaustive.

Let’s examine all the Bible characters that started small:

Abraham and his staff

Moses and his rod

David and his five stones

The difference is they started small with a big God.

There was not a selective power in the rod, the staff or the smooth stones but the power was found when these faithful followers gave to God what they had to do what God has asked them to do. Giving before receiving; believing before the answer and small happens before big happens. David’s faith was not in the five smooth stones but in a great, big God. Yet, he simply gathered from the brook what he knew to do.

Maybe God wants you to do something, something big but you don’t have what it takes to make it happen. Why not count, add up and put together what you do have and give it to God. David ran towards the giant and you can too with just the little you have. A little talent, a little writing, a little prayer, a little conversation, a little…well, you get the picture. Take what you have and let God in it.

The difference with you starting small is you have a big God.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

The Big Question

2e52dd1d53Maybe it is time we define, “worship.” Maybe our self-made worship is more about us and our feelings than it is about drawing near to God and exalting and adoring the Lord God. Maybe we have turned our worship service into a self-serving manipulation of God turning the spotlight on my life rather than His glory. Maybe, just maybe, we need to define worship by going back to the Bible and seeing what God really desires.

When God created man it was for the dual purpose of fellowship and expression. Fellowship was the heartbeat of God for mankind to know and experience the love of God on an everyday basis. Expression was to manifest His glory upon them and within his creation; upon them for influence to reach for the souls of men and within them for personal hope and peace. When the glory of God illuminates upon a man He will influence others to righteous living. When the glory of God resides within a man, he will walk in integrity, transparency and peace.

When Adam and Eve sinned they lost fellowship and expression; they lost the everyday fellowship with a loving God and they lost the glory of God upon and within them. After their sin, God began earnestly looking for them and God asks the BIG QUESTION, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). The first question God ever asked, and the most heart wrenching, the man and woman He created were gone; he sorrowfully asked, “Where are you?”

The BIG QUESTION needs to be asked today, “Where are you?” Are you living in everyday fellowship with a loving God and is the expression of His glory upon you and within you? God is looking for you, pursuing you so He might show His lavish love by everyday fellowship and supremely pour His glory upon and within you. He wants you to come to Him. He wants to be with you. “Where are you?”.

Let’s do a checkup. The following reveals the emptiness of living without the presence of God in our life:


  1. Frustration, anxieties and other emotional downfalls
  2. Provokes a man to live close on the edge of failure
  3. Friction at home escalates
  4. Financial pressures abound
  5. Emptiness creates larger vacuums
  6. Our heart becomes weary
  7. Complaining instead of worship flows from our mouth
  8. Our song, joy and dance is gone
  9. People problems become prevalent
  10. Life becomes complex and worrisome
  11. Fear is substituted for faith
  12. Weakness in our Spirit
  13. Job related problems increase
  14. We begin to withdraw from others
  15. Our attitude becomes obnoxious and defensive
  16. We cower from the presence of God
  17. The Word of God becomes boring
  18. Life is increasingly boring
  19. Depression and discouragement
  20. Loss of Hope

The good news is that one step in His direction and He will come running towards you. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. The opportunity for more is within my grasp. Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. When you hunger for more, thirst for more, it is your initiative that brings God’s blessings. His glory is poured out upon a man who enlarges his capacity by total surrender of heart, mind, soul and body. The empty self gains the fullness of His glory. He is ever longing to speak to you, bless you, fill you, heal you, restore you and love you.

His presence is waiting for you now – He wants fellowship and to express His glory – to overflow you with His love and His glory.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

Are We Praying Wrong?

prayerPraying often has its dips and turns according to the emotional needs of the man or woman praying but what would happen if we changed one-act of prayer? No, I’m not advocating a new, improved or  “greater revelation” type change but a scriptural change to our prayer life. Of course, I am assuming prayer is a natural element of your Christian life. We have both, corporate and private prayer and unlike some, time spent praying is not as important as why we pray.

We all agree, to pray is to communicate with God, both speaking and listening but acting on our prayer has been virtually nonexistent. We are asking according to the Word of God; right? We have checked or examined our motives and heart; right? We have prayed earnestly and sincerely; right? Yet, no answer; why? I believe this simple act of stepping out or taking hold of it through action may be the very thing missing in most of our prayers.

Jesus asks the question, “Who do you say I am?” A very important question to ask our self as we pray, in fact, Jesus instructed us first to acknowledge the “I AM” when he taught the disciples how to pray, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed is your name.” Hebrews also, reiterates, “You must believe that HE IS and is a rewarder of those who seek him.” Prayer is based not on His power but on His person, the I Am.

Once you believe in your prayer then it is time to act on your prayer.

Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. This was a direct message to the conquering church, just before Jesus promised the gates of hell could not prevail against the church. When people come together in corporate prayer act on the prayer by action.

My good friend, Clifford Hurst, pastor and Greek scholar, stated the Greek text states, heaven has already “loosed” or “bound” and now the church can act on it. That’s powerful! Praying in God’s purpose knows the work has already been accomplished and now we can rejoice in the prayer answered. Praise Him before the results come because we pray not for results or revelation but we have a relationship with the I AM. No, not a “name it, claim it” but a pray it – believe it.

Take for instance, Hannah prayed for a child and received the promise, she left the temple, knowing in her heart God had granted her request but the answer came gradually over the next nine months. She painted the nursery and put together the crib after she received the promise. When God puts the seed of faith in your heart then you can begin to act on it.

The greatest form of faith is when I walk out of the prayer room knowing God has heard me.

What have you been praying about? What can you do to act on it? Put shoes on your prayer. Take the step of faith. Build your relationship instead of hoping for results. Trust the I AM – believe and act.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

Incremental Goal Setting 2015

To simply wish for something is a dream without waking up. To set a resolution means as time fades the resolution will fade. There is a world of difference in a wish, a resolution and settings goals – goals have the ability to change you. But accomplishing your goals depends on two matters: how you set them and how many times you review them. These four Goal Distinctives will embark you on a sure journey to cross the finish line.


Goals Must be INTENTIONAL  For a goal to be intentional it must resonate with your heart. Passion drives a goal and your passion will keep you on track. Your passionate intentions are the reason you prioritize. Set the goal as a priority every day.

Intentionally revisit your goal every day.

When you know what your mission is it is easier to submit to the process. Your WHY will motivate when, where, who and what. Know why you want to do what you are doing and intentions flowing from passion will meet the goals.


Goals Must INDICATE a Time and Place  Scheduling your goal with a specific time and place on the calendar are powerful reminders of your WHY. If it isn’t on the calendar it will not get done. Schedule it or you will forget it. Ask yourself some substantial questions as you schedule your goals:

Where am I going?

How do I get there?

What time and day works best?

Once you have accomplish these small steps place the calendar or reminder close to your “everyday” spot so you can visually review each day.

Goals Must Create IMAGINATION  You might remember the Memory Course action steps of placing a creative image in your mind, the crazier, the more unbelievable, the better. It is proven that a stretch to the imagination causes the memory to better grasp the idea months or years later.

Visualize the finished product. Dream and write down what you are seeing in your mind’s eye. You may need to hang a picture placed by your desk space or you may need to create a particular milestone, something you visit each day. Imagine it, Visualize it and Place it.

Goals Must IDENTIFY What is At Stake  This may be the number one reason why most goals lose their momentum early in the game is we don’t count the cost or identify what it is going to cost us. Be real, transparent and honest with yourself.

This is going to cost $______________.

This will take four hours out of my weekly schedule.

This goal will eliminate ______________.

Simply creating a plus and minus chart – record the benefits but also record the sacrifice and it will enable you to fight the mental battles you will face when the going gets tough.

Has this article helped you? If so, comment below and let me know. Thanks!

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

Marry Someone You Like NOT Just Someone You Love

coupleThe crazy thing about love is it feels just right. That is until two kids later, a messy house, an overworked husband and a bad hair day. Feelings change and the subject of love is being defined in a myriad of make believe scenarios until it has become hard to really recognize it. If you follow the movie trail you simply run into someone in the rain, he covers you with his umbrella, you fall in love and magically you love each other until a major breakup. Have you ever noticed how two happily married people can become two unhappy, angry, bitter and divorced people? We could define “love” but the false images of exploding emotions and raging hormones are embedded in the minds of many youth and much easier for them to understand. But love is too passing for many, no concrete but fluid. There must be a better way to describe what real love looks like – so, here it is:

Marry someone you like NOT someone you love. Since emotions lie and feelings change, ask yourself this question, do I really like them? The sage advice of Amos still rings true, Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

HONEST? Are they transparent? Are they hiding something? Do you feel uneasy around them? Is holding secrets their big game plan? Honesty between a couple is real love and if you don’t like them holding back pertinent information then how will it be a few years into marriage?

TRUST? This is different. Would you trust him with your sister? Would you trust her with another guy? Do you trust them with money? Small areas of mistrust often grow into large areas of mistrust. Do you like the way he or she is when you are not around?

ANGRY? What ticks them off? Do they get angry easily? Have you seen levels of impatience that you don’t like? Are they calm, cool and collected or angry, anxious and agitated? Will this explosive character follow you into marriage? Give them time to change without a long term commitment and be sure and marry someone you like.

CARE? How do they treat others? Do they show concern for the hurting? Are they considerate? Is he a gentleman? Are they selfish, proud or cruel? He may look like a hunk now but how will he treat you when you are sick? She may be beautiful on the outside but is she hospitable, loving and caring?

PRAY? Are they leaning in towards God or withdrawing from God? Do you pray together? Are dates a “touchy, feely” date or an opportunity to find out more about each other’s spiritual growth and stamina? Do you know what her convictions are? Do you know what he believes?

Find out if you like the guy or girl you’re with before you fall in love.


Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

Life and Longevity

Life is not measured by its longevity but by its quality. John Boy Walton, of the popular Walton series TV Miniseries, quipped, “Life is not measured by birthdays but by memories.” Life has its up and downs. Life always has those moments when we question the unexpected loss of someone we held dear to us but God said He alone is the giver of life. God expresses the quality of life is based on the fear of God so life and death are in the hands of God. There are parts of life and much of death we don’t understand. In fact, we know very little of what the other side looks like.

The Bible tells us about the streets of gold, the Crystal Sea, gates of pearl, the throne of God but little about what life is like in the eternal heavens. Jesus tells us He has gone to prepare a mansion for us but doesn’t tell us why we need a mansion in heaven. Jesus tells us there is no marriage nor giving of marriage in heaven; yet we will be known as we are known. Yet there is much about life in heaven we don’t understand. We wonder – what really awaits us after death, we speculate, wish and hope.

But there is one scripture in the Holy Bible that helps me more than any other. In Hebrews 11:1 -2b Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; …..  These witnesses are not mourning their passing but are rather standing on the balcony of heaven but watching below those who are still running the race. Not tears but applause. Not sorrow but cheering; Cheering on those who are yet to cross the finish line; Applause for everyone to run well; Applauding our efforts as we move closer and closer to the finish line.

In the stillness, of the midnight. Precious sacred scenes unfold,*  tears run silently down our cheek, in the pain of loneliness grips our soul, we are compelled to listen, to listen carefully to the soft applause of our loved one; “run, run well; keep on running, cross the finish line with faith; we applaud you.”

So while we may not see them it is definitely clear that they can see us and they are cheering us on – yes, you can make it.


*Precious Memories, original lyrics, © 1966 by Stamps-Baxter Music & Printing Co. J. B. F. Wright, author-composer of “Precious Memories” (originally copyrighted in 1925)

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.


It’s Up to You

It’s Up to You

Author – unknown

One song can spark a moment, One flower can wake the dream. One tree can start a forest, One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship, One handclasp lifts a soul. One star can guide a ship at sea, One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation, One sunbeam lights a room. One candle wipes out darkness, One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey, One word must start each prayer. One hope will raise our spirits, One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom, One heart can know what’s true. One life can make the difference, You see, IT’S UP TO YOU!